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Animal Words by Oh, Hello!

  • July 1, 2011 2:25 pm

Animal Words by Oh, Hello! Is a simple fun app for young children to learn about animal sounds. The interface is simple and clean–just what you want in an app like this. Your child selects an animal and hears the name of the animal. There are three different voices/languages to choose from. Two English and one is Czech I believe.

That is about it. Simple,fun, interesting, but ultimately a short lived app for a young child. Is it worthwhile? Sure.

Fun – 3
Learning – 5
Attention – 3

Dolch Words by Tap To Learn

  • June 3, 2011 7:18 am

Dolch Words by Tap To Learn is really 6 grades worth of words to learn. It is a simple app where you child learns to recognize words by placing the letters into the right position. The word and letters are repeated along with a picture of the object the word represents. It is a nicely done app that has the potential to teach your child a lot of words.

The words get pretty hard. It lists up to level or grade 5, but really it is the type of word that gets difficult. The words become more abstract. This makes them harder to understand and grasp. The idea being that you learn to spell the word and recognize it by sight. Good idea, common practice.

Attention – 3
Learning – 5
Fun – 0 (It is a learning app)

Total – 8

Rainforest Survival Challenge Ruckus Media Group

  • May 18, 2011 7:49 am

Saving the Rainforest is cool isn’t it? Aren’t we all concerned that the cure for cancer is actually sitting in the Rainforest waiting to be discovered? The cure is probably the saliva from a carrion eating bird or beetle “perfume.” To teach your kids more about the circle of life and the animals in the rainforest be sure to check out Rainforest Survival Challenge Ruckus Media Group.

At first look it is a complex card game matching animals against each other for survival. There is a heavy tutorial to get you started and I suggest you pay attention! Really the point is to understand what the animals on the card eat and what threatens them. You can see the name of the animal by clicking the card once and the details of the animal by clicking the card twice. Pretty good information, but it isn’t an encyclopedia (remember those?).

Is it fun? yes. My ten year old daughter and I played with the app as a team for about 30 minutes the first time around. She is certainly going to pick it up again as a quick 10-15 minute game to play. Can you learn something from the app? Certainly. If we are comparing this sort of app to a flash based game on nickjr.com there is really no comparison. This game teaches you tangible facts about a set of animals. That information by itself might not be valuable, but as a starting point for the next assignment about animals at school it might just be enough.

Fun – 2 (it is a learning app, but still kind of fun to try and win)
Learning – 3 The subject matter is limited, but that is ok.
Attention – 3 You will not play this app for more than 15 minutes at a time perhaps 30 like we did.

Total – 8

See.Touch.Learn by Brain Parade

  • May 12, 2011 7:18 am

We review a lot of learning apps. Some apps are for a specific area of knowledge like math or fractions and other apps are reading apps, and yet some apps can fit just about anywhere.

See.Touch.Learn by Brain Parade is one of those anywhere apps. At its core it is a flash card app, but offers so much more to the involved parent. You can add your own lessons, organize them by what your child needs to know next or is struggling with, or just enjoy the available lessons.

Brain Parade just released 8 more categories of apps. Everything from fruit to noses and letters and numbers to pets–they have a flash card set for it. Can your child learn this way? Of course. If they can identify pictures and point they are capable of learning in this format.

See.Touch.Learn by Brain Parade allows the parent to control the learning structure and content. That being said, my ten year old wanted to create a lesson for my four year old. In the video you can see a first take at that situation. Later in the night she spent a good amount of time on a lesson and my four year old loved it!

Will you grow out of the app? Perhaps. Right now the content probably reaches two to seven year olds, but I believe they are working on the ability for a parent to add their own pictures and voice to the mix. I had mentioned that I wondered how long it will take my four year old to realize the number she is supposed to select it showing at the top of the screen and just start matching them up. I checked settings and there is a switch to turn off that display! Awesome!

Fun – 2 (It is a learning app, but fun to create lessons)
Attention – 3
Learning – 5

Total – 10

Check out the video of me and the kids using the app!

SwipeTapTap By MochiBits

  • May 9, 2011 7:17 am

SwipeTapTap By MochiBits is a fun app for kids to play. Can it teach them something? Perhaps, but that is not the point. It is fun and also kind of hard. The first video I have is of my four year old playing the game. She loves it and has lot of fun, but it is hard for her. Her video only shows the Tap Tap portion of the game, but there is a lot more to it I assure you.

When I play the game I go for the mode where it gets harder and harder as you go along. It adds in swipes and gets faster. It is a lot of fun and also hard. That is the point. Just to get as far as you can make it. I enjoy it and spend 10-15 minutes each time I open it up.

Is it a fun game to have on your device? Yep. Is it challenging? Sure is. Edit: After I wrote this review we started to challenge each other and it has become a lot of fun. Check out the videos below to see how such a simple but challenging app can be fun for everyone in the family.

Fun – 5
Attention – 3
Learning – 2

Total – 10, but this is a fun app and it is fun, so it is recommended for sure.

Check this app out in the app store:

Check out my four year old playing with the app:

I challenged the wife to a game too:

OK then my ten year old wanted to check it out and we competed a little:

Swapsies by Spinlight Studios

  • April 25, 2011 7:05 am

Swapsies by Spinlight Studios is a fun app for kids to learn fine motor skills as well as some cognitive skills like matching and accomplishing lists. My 4 year old daughter loves the app on our iPad and likes to make the characters mismatch as well as match.

A nice addition to the app is the ability to choose a character. My daughter seems to pick a new child each time from the list. Sometimes a boy, sometimes a girl. I think she just likes to see the different faces in the different outfits. This isn’t an app that will last weeks or make it to your home screen, but it is an app that I bet your child will come back to and enjoy especially if prompted. It is hard not to laugh when you get an outfit correct and press the notes. A nice touch.

Attention – 3
Fun – 4
Learning – 3

Total – 10

Fraction Basics By Wei Chong

  • April 8, 2011 7:37 am

Fraction Basics By Wei Chong was a necessary app to download because my oldest girl is learning fractions in school. Fourth grade fractions aren’t that hard, but there is a standard set of base knowledge that a child will need to learn about the subject.

I started looking at apps for learning fractions and there are plenty. I hope to review more. I finally settled on a free app initially because of the description. Video learning caught my eye. I learn in this manner and I teach in this manner too. My own youtube channel is full of these sort of videos. I like the idea and I like the format.

The app is well done with a simple menu structure to choose the learning subject. You start at the top and work your way down. My oldest daughter already skipped a few portions that she already knew. Great feature.

Attention – 3
Fun – 0 (it is purely a learning app!)
Learning – 5

Total – 8

My Family Food by FamilyFUNdamentals

  • February 14, 2011 7:44 am

My Family Food by FamilyFUNdamentals interested me a lot. As a guy that visits the gym a bit I tend to watch what I eat pretty closely. Personally I use Daily Burn, so when My Family Food by FamilyFUNdamentals came across my desk I was very interested.

The basics of the app are that it allows you to track the nutrition for each member of your family. I used it to track the nutrition for my two daughters, but I included my food most of the time too. The kids get awards based on their eating habits and this really excited them. I spoke with the creator of the app and it is not networked and this means that we had to track nutrition only on my iPhone rather than on either my wife’s phone or mine, which would have been a neat addition.

Does the app work? Yes it certainly does. I found it to perform well against our eating habits and on our devices. The kids were happy when they had eaten their goals and we always allowed a treat for the rewards too. It was fun for the parents, but it is also a lot of work. This app is for the parent who is really concerned about their child’s nutrition. We all should be making sure our kids eat well and this app can help.

I personally feel that a diet is something that is doomed to fail. Just the name means failure to me. I also believe we all have a diet–most of us have a bad diet. So using this app for a few weeks does one main thing and that is to teach your kids the healthy eating habits they should have. It took me into my 30’s to learn these habits. I still break them, but at least my four year old and nine year old are learning them young. For that reason this app is getting a high learning score.

I do not have a video showing the app in use since my kids rarely used it. My now ten year old would enter food, but she cheats, so really I used it. It is a great app for parents :) Lock your phone too.

Fun – 4
Learning – 5
Attention – 3

Total 12, but in this category a 10 would be awesome.

Fun with Thandros by Thandros Media

  • January 17, 2011 7:14 am

Fun with Thandros by Thandros Media is a neat app for kids where they can interact with a friendly robot. I am confident we have not yet found all the things you can do in this app, but my 3 year old’s favorites are the story time where you can pick your own adventure and twins. She sneaks into the “under 3” section every once in a while too.

This app needs a bit of guidance from the parent, so be prepared to help out a bit, but it is a fun and interesting app.

Fun – 4
Learning – 3
Attention – 3

Total 10. Not bad for a fun app that covers a lot of ages!

Rain Go Away ABCs

  • September 7, 2010 7:28 am

Rain Go Away ABCs is another great alphabet learning app. It makes learning the ABCs easy and fun. My 3 year old has known her ABCs for sometime now and still enjoys the application. The tips are a neat feature that give you ideas of something to do if it is actually raining. We live in Phoenix, so we actually go out in the rain when it rains!

Learning – 5
Fun – 4
Attention – 3
Total = 12

Check out the video for more information about the app: